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← Insects are scared to death of fish

Itseasyifyoutry's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Itseasyifyoutry

Comment 5 by davidpercival :

As the insects were not harmed themselves and didn't see any of the others harmed, they must be born with the fear of fish. It is already known that certain new born geese can identify the shadow of a predator bird from that of a harmless type. Does this not imply that there is such a thing as "memories" which are inherited within a species by some means we are unaware of that are much more nuanced than simple instinct? It seems far fetched that there are genes that "know" the threat posed by other creatures.

The occipital lobe is part of the cerebral cortex. Something like a visually triggered reaction to the complex image of say a common predator's shadow or sharp teeth might indicate the potential for a kind of inherited conscious visual memory. One of the cardinal evolutionary purposes of the cerebral cortex was to store extragenetic information gained following birth and passed on to the next generation during the course of a human life. However, there are clearly other prewired complex functions of consciousness which we are born with. It's a very interesting subject.

Tue, 01 Nov 2011 05:59:09 UTC | #885875